The price of bitcoin continued to inch closer to annual highs set in January today, as prices for the asset passed $1,100 across global exchanges.
At press time, bitcoin was trading at $1,105.18, its highest total since 5th January – the day its most recent price rally collapsed, falling $200 in one hour. The drop, credited by some to the over-influence of leverage in the market, later sparked an investigation into the market by the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.
However, traders are looking elsewhere in an effort to understand this latest price rise.
Sources told CoinDesk today that they believe the price increase is the result of traders "pricing in" an 11th March ruling that could see the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF become the first bitcoin ETF in the US market, opening the digital currency to a wider audience of investors.
OTC trader Zhao Dong credited the increase to "optimism about the ETF approval", as did exchange operators and market analysts. Not everyone is optimistic about the path ahead, however.
Blockchain consultant and advisor George Samman, for example, expects the price to edge downward prior to the approval, as traders look to sell ahead of a possible rejection. Research from investment analyst Needham & Co has found that the bitcoin ETF has a less than 25% chance of being approved.
Still, the research firm projects that bitcoin prices could rise dramatically on the off-chance a positive decision is made, perhaps prompting demand for bitcoin in advance of this date.
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